#Brexit at t minus 5 in the shadow of Jo Cox’s death

While the bookies still think remain is more likely and The Economist poll stands at 40-39-14 for leave-stay-don’t know the Financial Times poll of polls appears to come closer to what Google Trends data has been showing: 48% to 43% for Brexit with 8% undecideds. The share of searches for “leave eu” in the pool of searches “leave eu” or “stay eu” has taken a significant, 6 base points, dive in the aftermath of the Jo Cox shooting but appears to be recovering in the last hours.

cox-brexitThe top type of search in the “leave eu” and “stay eu” searches continue to be “reasons to leave  the eu” and “reasons to stay in the eu” respectively. The share of the leave searches in this realm, in the last 7 days, is ahead by 51.2% to 48.8% for stay but clearly it dropped compared to just a few days ago. In the last 24 hours the searches for “reasons to stay in the eu” even took a lead (for the first time) at 53.6% compared to 46.4% for “reasons to leave the eu” showing that the Jo Cox shooting does weigh in on public sentiment.

The Diversity Prediction Theorem tells us that as far as polls go the poll of polls of the Financial Times is better than any other poll individually. On the other hand most bookies continue to think that most people will vote remain. Finally the Google searches show that while leave/stay searches cannot yet be considered to reveal voting intend nonetheless the leave searches have a larger footprint than the stay searches although the tragedy of the Jo Cox shooting does appear to weigh in on public sentiment.

Finally the negative impact of the Jo Cox shooting on the leave searches may implicitly say that Google searches are not far from voting intend: if you are a remaineer and you are searching for “consequences of leaving the eu” so that you are informed, you don’t have any emotional reason to refrain from doing so, in the aftermath of a tragedy which may have been committed by a (deranged) brexiteer. If you are a brexiteer searching for “reasons to leave the eu”, so that you become a more efficient campaigner for example, on the other hand, you may experience some guilty feelings and refrain for a few days (whether those are justified or not is irrelevant).

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